Local Authority News
The Highland Council has noted the outcomes at Inverness Sherriff Court this morning regarding Home Farm Care Home on the Isle of Skye. The Sheriff made no decision on the Care Inspectorate's application to suspend registration but has adjourned the matter until 10 June 2020 on the basis that the collaborative approach being taken will continue to be monitored.
The Highland Council would like to remind Garden Waste Collection Service permit holders that the service resumed last Monday (11th May 2020) after being suspended due to the impact of COVID-19 on staff resources. Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer for Communities and Place said: "Feedback from our crews from the first week of collections is that the quality of the material collected from the brown bins was excellent with very little contamination which is really positive and I would like to thank the public for making a concerted effort to ensure that only the correct material was put into their bins.
The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, has now paid out £48.9m million to 4359 Highland businesses. This now includes payments to owners of multiple premises following the expansion of the scheme on 5th May 2020.
A Highland Council Recovery Board has been established to lead and plan the Council's emergence from lockdown and provide strategic coordination for a Recovery Action Plan for Council services. The Board will also provide oversight and direction for the Council's partnership with communities and partners to support the Highland Region’s return to wellbeing, prosperity and economic success.
Highland Council has announced it is to begin a restricted grass cutting service across the region. Despite significant challenges in terms of staffing, the local authority is pleased it is in a position to deliver a limited service at this time.
The Highland Council has, along with other Scottish Local Authorities, submitted details to COSLA of the potential impact of COVID 19 on its revenue and capital budgets. The Council has estimated potential income losses and additional costs up to £87.5 M which would be off-set in part by savings across a variety of service areas.
Help is at hand for bereaved families in Highland who may find the unexpected cost of funerals out of their reach during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Highland Council has provided funeral directors in the region with information leaflets to ensure that they are aware of the financial support that is available to relatives for some funeral costs in specific circumstances.
The Highland Council's COVID helpline 0300 303 1362 which has been up and running since 25th March has now handled over 5000 calls. The helpline provides support for those needing urgent help including those shielding or otherwise vulnerable and anyone interested in volunteering.
The UK Government has mobilised the army to set up Corona Virus Test Centres In Scotland. Mobile testing units travel around the UK to increase access to coronavirus testing.
The Highland Council is now accepting applications for the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for 2021-2022. The fund, which is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government, supports locally developed regeneration projects for communities, helping with job creation and support, and in building sustainable communities.
The Members, staff and resources of Highland Council continue to be focussed on responding to the COVID-19 emergency. Staff across all services and areas are working hard, often in roles different to their normal jobs, to ensure a proactive, well organised and co-ordinated approach is taken across Highland.
From today, newly self-employed individuals who have not been able to access support through other schemes will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £2,000. Following the launch of the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund by Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Highland Council has been asked to administer the fund for Newly Self-Employed businesses within the Highland Council area.
The Highland Council is preparing for a budget gap of over £80M within the current financial year due to the impact of the Coronavirus crisis. All Members received an update today on the budget situation as part of their regular briefing sessions.
The Highland Council has welcomed the guidance issued today (29th April) by Scottish Government on ‘Donations of PPE and other supplies'. Cllr Ben Thomson, Chair of Highland Council's Housing and Property Committee said: "We welcome this new guidance from the Scottish Government which signposts people to a single national point of contact for those wishing to make or donate PPE to Covid-19NHSsupplychain@gov.scot.
The Highland Council is pleased to announce that the Garden Waste Collection Service will be resumed from Monday 11th May 2020. Householders who have purchased a 2019/20 permit for the fortnightly collection of their garden waste are urged to check their calendars on The Highland Council's website for their collection day.
The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, has now paid out £26.89million to 2341 Highland businesses. The latest figures show that grants were given to 1341 businesses, to the value of £14.8m, within the past week alone.
Highland Council is continuing to provide free school meals through e-vouchers to families across the region while schools are closed. Over, 7,500 school meals payments of £15 per child per week have been issued to date.
The COVID-19 crisis has seen an unprecedented rise in scams across the whole of the UK and Highland Council Trading Standards is issuing a warning to local businesses about a new scam that has come to light, regarding business grants. This scam involves an unsolicited email informing the business that its business grant application has been processed and a payment to be made to you soon.
The Highland Council is ramping up the team responsible for processing small business grants to respond even more quickly and to as many applicants as possible. On Friday almost 4,000 applications had been received by Highland Council and 1000 of those have already been processed, to the value of over £12.8million.
Following the establishment of a dedicated Council team and system to manage the COVID-19 Business Grant scheme, the number of and value of grants to Highland businesses is increasing daily. On Friday 17 April alone, business grants were awarded to 233 businesses to the value of £2.84m which took the overall total to over 1000 businesses and total grants secured to over £12.8m.